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The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword: How to Use a Pen in Combat and Self Defense

One thing is for sure; in the world of close encounters, a pen is often far more useful than many other self-defense tools. For starters, you can take it absolutely anywhere (even through a TSA screening on an airplane!). Nobody thinks twice if they see one clipped to your pocket or in your hand. It’s light and easy to carry, and anyone who is safety-minded shouldn’t be caught without one anyway!

When used properly, pens can be a devastating defensive tool when applied to the correct targets of an aggressor. I’ve highlighted a few key targets to strike when you’re being attacked. These all work equally well for anatomical men or women. For the pen, everything circled in red that’s above the waist is usually an easy and viable target. Hold the pen like an icepick, with your thumb across the top for maximum striking force.

Let’s talk briefly about the pen itself. While almost any pen will do, some are better suited to this task. I prefer a metal-barreled pen, not one of those silly $60 “tacti-cool” pens. I like a regular pen that happens to be metal. Also, a twist on/off pen is ideal here because the top end of the pen is usually flat and a little larger, making for great thumb placement to really provide the extra stability and driving force you want. I’ve attached a quick example of the types I’m referring to. There are many others out there. Find one that fits your style, colors, etc. Then, keep it on you at all times!

In our upcoming Unarmed Self-Defense course, you will  learn how to use pens as part of your layered self-defense routine and many other non-firearm tools and techniques. Stay safe out there!